Archives for December 2010

Top Ten Vatican News Stories of 2010

Rome Reports, a highly-publicized independent and international t.v. news agency with emphasis on the Vatican and Pope, has released their top ten news stories of 2010.

The stories range in topic from the newly formed Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, to the creation of 24 new cardinals, to the Pope’s trip to the UK (which, spoiler alert, ranked as the #1 story of 2010).

The article also explains the short-term and long-term effects of each, with links to news reports on all the events.

Check out the entire article here.

Christianity: A 100 Year Retrospective

As the New Year approaches and we look to the future, I found this interesting article which takes a 100 year retrospective on Christianity.  The article, which can be found in its entirety here, contains facts and statistics concerning Christianity’s changing role and prevalence in the world. 

For example, it claims that in 1910, nearly 35% of the world’s population was Catholic, comparable to today’s statistic of 33%.  However, the demographics of this population has shifted dramatically.  Whereas in 1910 most Catholics were contained in the West (Europe and North America), today most are found in Asia, South America, and Africa.  In fact, almost half of Africa’s population is now Christian.  In contrast, the past century has seen (and continues to see) a drastic decline in European and North American Catholics.

Additionally, Pentecostal Christians (commonly referred to as “Renewalists”) have grown at five times the rate of global Christianity.  The largest Pentecostal group is the Latin Rite Catholics, who number at 133 million.

Evidently, the past 100 years has been fairly drastic.  Of course, mycatholicblog cannot predict the next hundred years, but in this imminent upcoming year we do at least promise to keep bringing our readers the lasted Catholic news and information (it’s one of our New Year’s Resolutions!).  Happy New Year, everyone!

“America’s Beloved Gospel Singer” to Recieve Lifetime Achievement Award

George Beverly Shea is set to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award during this year’s Grammy Awards.  Shea, who turns 102 a week before the ceremony (in February), boasts a singing career that spans over 80 years and 70 albums.

An article on ChristianToday.com explains further:

According to The Recording Academy’s website (www.grammy.com), the Lifetime Achievement Award honours lifelong artistic contributions to the recording medium, and is determined by vote of The Recording Academy’s National Board of Trustees.

“It is a great honor to recognize and celebrate such a distinguished and dynamic group of honorees who have been the creators of such timeless art,” said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow.

“These influential performers and brilliant innovators have been of great inspiration to our culture and industry. Their legendary work has left a lasting impression and will continue to influence generations to come.”

When asked about his life’s work, Shea responded, “The music has been for God’s glory.”  The Lifetime Achievement Award will be given out in a special invitation-only ceremony the week of the Grammys, with an acknowledgment made at the Grammy Awards itself.

Podcast with Lisa Hendey, December 2010

Below is a podcast we recorded for My Catholic Blog in December 2010 with Lisa Hendey.

Lisa Hendey is the author of The Handbook for Catholic Moms and founder of CatholicMom.com.   She is also a frequent contributor to Faith&Family Live.

We also had the pleasure of conducting an  interview with Lisa Hendey for the site back in November, 2010.

If you know a catholic author, writer, blogger, creative person you would like to see featured in a future podcast or interview,
please contact us at info(at)mycatholicblog(dot)com

“Joy and Hope and Happy Christmas Memories”

Bishop Kevin Farrell has written a lovely piece entitled “Joy and Hope and Happy Christmas Memories”  which reminds us of the happiness Christmas is capable of bringing, and of our happy childhood Christmas memories.  He opening paragraph reads,

Most of our Christmas memories come from our youth, probably because so many of them are centered on family. Midnight Mass, Christmas dinner, aunts and uncles and cousins, grandma’s favorite dish lovingly prepared and shared every year. For most of us our childhood was a time of unbridled joy, uncomplicated by the mysteries of adolescence or the responsibilities of adulthood.

Farrell’s article is intelligent and insightful; just reading it evokes pleasant childhood memories of Christmas and a sense of hope.

The entire article can be found here, and thanks again Bishop Farrell for sharing!

Podcast with Jerry Weber, December 2010

Below is a podcast we recorded for My Catholic Blog in December 2010 with Jerry Weber, host of The Catholic Revolver.

Jerry discusses all things Catholic. Guests will often be invited to participate on the show. Whether they have a conversion story to share, an inspiring life story, or just have a great passion for Catholicism in general, they will be the heart of the show. The Catholic Revolver will also at times branch out to other topics such as Pro-Life issues, Conservative Politics, Health & Well-Being, Music, etc. One thing is for sure though, the show revolves around Catholicism and will always return to discussing the beautiful Catholic Church one way or another.

If you know a catholic author, writer, blogger, creative person you would like to see featured in a future podcast or interview,
please contact us at info(at)mycatholicblog(dot)com

Loving the Madness at Christmastime

Sick of the Christmas music yet?  Annoyed by the crowds, the commercials, the lawn ornaments? Can’t wait for it all to be over?  Well, with two days left to go we found this article on ChristandPopCulture.com entitled “Why I Hate The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”  that takes a whole new perspective on dealing with Christmas, and finding the beauty of the holiday despite the often materialistic (and even sometimes secular) modern celebrations.

If you’re feeling a bit daunted by all of the Christmas madness, give this article a read.

The Importance of Health at Christmastime

One of the most common New Year’s Resolutions is “getting healthy.”  This could mean losing weight, building stronger muscles and bones, minimizing stress and maximizing mental health–the varieties are many, but the basic idea of all these is to take care of oneself.

But why not start a little early?  MyCatholicBlog understands that the holiday season to a large extent is about enjoying oneself–eating, drinking, being merry and all that–but did you know that Christmas and New Years’ are the two days of the year where a person is most likely to have a heart attack?  Seriously! The unhealthy meals, the stress, and even the weather (cold weather causes the blood vessels to constrict) all play a part in holiday heart health.

Additionally, the average weight gain over the holiday season is reported anywhere from 1-5 pounds per person!  Now, one pound might not seem too daunting (if you’re lucky enough to stay on the low end of that spectrum), but consider this: the average weight gain per person per year is supposed to be about 2 pounds, meaning that half of your yearly weight gain is accrued over the course of one month.  Also, people who are overweight tend to experience weight gain significantly higher over the holiday season, usually about 5+ pounds.

So, this holiday season, try to stay healthy!  Choose nutritious options at the holiday party (there has to be a fruit or nut dish somewhere), enjoy time with the family instead of worrying about gifts/travel plans/etc., and make sure to set aside some personal time.  Christmas is meant to be spent in good spirits….and good health!

Beckham Receives BBC Sports Personality Lifetime Achievement Award

David Beckham is world-famous:  footballer, model, cultural icon…and Catholic!  And most recently, Beckham claims the title of most the newest recipient of the BBC Sports Personality Lifetime Achievement Award, given for his remarkable and outstanding career both on and off the pitch.

Beckham’s has played for some of the biggest football (soccer) clubs in the world, such as Manchester United, AC Milan, Real Madrid.  He broke the salary barrier when he signed with US club L.A. Galaxy, thereby expanding the potential of US Soccer for future team-building.  He transformed from a national villian in 1998 into a hero in 2001 during his time playing for England.  Outside the realm of football, Beckham has made headlines for his outlandish sense of style, his modeling career, and his famous family.

The full list of Beckham’s contributions and achievements is far too long to post here, but let’s just put it this way: I “google imaged” Becks, and Google offered 3.3 million available photos of him.

As both a United and England supporter, I am forever a fan of David Beckham, and am very pleased with the BBC’s decision.  Congratulations, Becks.

5 Days Left!

Five days left till Christmas? But there’s so much left to do!  Uh-oh.  Well, don’t worry, we have solutions to all your Christmas quandaries.

Didn’t get those Christmas cards out in time? That’s ok, try an animated online one instead!  It’s free, and instantaneous, so that you have right up until December 25th to send it!  We love www.123greetings.com, but there are tons of sites out there.

Absolutely stumped over what to buy a loved one as a gift?  Well, online shipping let’s you order at your convenience, and almost all sites offer expedited shipping (and right now, time is of the essence!).  Jewelry is always a popular gift, and a meaningful aspect, like religious-themed jewelry or jewelry in their favorite color for instance, will add sentimental value.

Need a recipe for that Christmas party this week?  The wonderful contributors over at Faith & Family live have excellent and easy suggestions for cooking and baking, many of which are simple and quick.

Five days left, what are you waiting for?!